Rescue Lifebuoy, Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayRimini Street has found a new opportunity, picking up business from the destruction that Broadcom has left at VMware. Broadcom pursued a strategy that saw over 56 VMware products and platforms, including VMware vSphere+, VMware Aria Suite, and VMware NSX, “killed” as it looked to move to a subscription-only business. It is also changing perpetual licenses to subscription-based ones. But not offering the levels of support that made VMWare so beloved of IT infrastructure teams.

While VMWare has ended the availability of these solutions, it will only provide active support for the duration of the existing support contract. Into the void that Broadcom/VMware has created, Rimini Street is now offering Comprehensive Support, Security and Consulting Services for VMware Products.

Rimini Street has launched three products: Rimini Support, Rimini Protect and Rimini Consult for VMware products. The services will enable existing VMWare users to continue leveraging their applications in the future. With the guaranteed priority support response by an engineer 24/7/365 in 10 minutes or less, offering better SLAs than VMware now offers (Severity 1 – within 30 minutes).

Rimini Street believes that it has priced these new offerings as cost neutral at worst. With the support fees matching that of the current support fees each perpetual licensee is paying VMware.

Seth Ravin, CEO and President of Rimini Street, commented, “Many organizations are perpetually licensed to use VMware products and are now facing significant annual fee increases demanded by VMware. These organizations are now looking for an alternative, comprehensive annual support program that can enable them to continue implementing, changing and running their perpetually licensed VMware software infrastructure smoothly and reliably for years into the future.

“Rimini Street is now offering such a support program for VMware products as an extension of its award-winning, mission-critical global support services utilized successfully by thousands of clients in more than 100 countries over nearly two decades.”

A huge opportunity

Dave Rowe, Chief Product Officer and EVP global transformation at Rimini Street (image credit - LinkedIn/Dave Rowe)
Dave Rowe, Chief Product Officer and EVP global transformation at Rimini Street

Enterprise Times spoke with David Rowe, Chief Product Officer and Renee Wells, Vice President, Product Strategy at Rimini Street about the new offering. Rowe explained what led Rimini Street to launch this service, saying, “We get questions every single day from clients who love their support. Can you support this? Can you support that? In fact, in some cases, they say Hey, can we Rimini this?

“There’s what, 300,000 plus VMware customers, of course, not all of those are of size for us to support. We expect a lot of existing clients and then also net new clients as well. It’s a direction for Rimini Street to continue to expand the software that we support, both application database and technology. And this is just part of that progression.”

Importantly, this is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Broadcom acquisition. Rimini Street has taken the time to watch and listen to customers who are asking for help with VMware support. It has also not rushed into offering the services.

The challenges

In terms of the potential revenue opportunity, Rowe indicated that with Broadcom paying $61 billion for VMWare and looking to turn much of its client base into subscription revenues, the opportunity is huge, if not in the billions.

With opportunities come challenges, and one of those is scaling Rimini Street to meet the potential demand. I asked Rowe how Rimini Street intends to cope.

“I get this question a lot on applications. For example, what are you going to do when all these people are retiring? How can you retain all these resources? Right, We’re a very attractive place to work, because individuals can work across companies and enjoy good pay, and a great place to work.

“We have the ability to scale. If you’re an individual company trying to support yourself, you might have how many people supporting your VMware, you lose two or three of them, you’re in a poor position. We have the opportunity to have the advantage of scale. We’ve done this before. And I don’t see any issue with continuing to do that here.”

What is the opportunity that Rimini Street is aiming for in this announcement? Wells explained how they first conducted a proof of concept. This was not an early adopter program but something much better to prepare themselves to launch the service. She explained, “It was very important that we just didn’t throw a service out into the market. It is the due diligence that we have actually done with our existing customer base. Our existing customer base has been yelling and screaming for this since the actual announcement.

“We took a subset of customers that came to us that love us for what we do and did a proof of concept with them. They would send us their tickets that they have put in for the past X number of years. We had our deep expert VMware architects do a full analysis of all of those tickets to ensure the services that we brought to market were the right services.

“We could have just gone out with VMware support. But as you know, we have a broader portfolio of capabilities, and some key things came to light. For example, consult, this market is significantly changing. The other hypervisors and organisations that have those hypervisors are changing and developing their functionality because we all know that there is not parity necessarily in the market with Nutanix and the Microsoft product. But it’s changing.

“They need time to be able to assess it, so we wanted to make sure that we had the capabilities, not only our support but also our protect suite, as well as our consult suite because we believe that that trio was the most important to bring to market. That’s why it took us so long because of the level of due diligence that we have.”

What are the services?

The initial services that Rimini Street will offer are:

Rimini Support for VMware

Premium, global 24/7/365 support and advisory services with industry-leading SLAs, and includes:

  • Dedicated support services for configuration, performance, installation, upgrade, and customization
  • A named primary support engineer with an average of 15 years of experience
  • Guaranteed 10-minute response SLA for critical cases
  • Rimini Street’s patented AI technology, Case Assignment Advisor, empowers its engineers to resolve cases much faster by recommending the optimal engineer based on 40+ vectors

Rimini Protect for VMware

Proactive, fast and cost-effective security protection against known and unknown threats and vulnerabilities, and includes:

  • Guidance on mitigating risk by strengthening the configuration of the VMware ecosystem
  • Rimini Street’s self-developed Security Vulnerability Analysis Reports (SVARs), intelligence reports that include mitigation options and strategies
  • Zero-day reporting
  • Level 1 Security Assessments

Rimini Consult for VMware

Expert consulting services to help VMware customers identify their best path forward and help align technology strategy with business objectives. Services include:

  • Technical and application road mapping and strategy
  • Technology assessments
  • License advisory
  • Interoperability and integration
  • Staff and skills augmentation
  • Cloud migrations

I asked Wells what applications Rimini Street will support, she answered, “Some of the products have been divested to KKR. We are supporting a broad footprint, including those that are still with Broadcom. Obviously, the core products of vSphere, ESX vCentre, vRealize and Aria. Also, one of the key questions that we get is what about end user compute, which is the Workstation, Horizon Workspace ONE and Tanzu.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Rimini Street has launched a new service that its customers are clamouring for. It seems to be the first to take advantage of a huge opportunity that Broadcom has created. A renowned Industry analyst shared his view on the launch.

R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, Inc. “Rimini Street continues to be at the forefront of innovation by listening to the changing market needs of organizations around the world. And launching new solutions and market choices that make it possible for organizations to maximize the ROI and lifespan of their current, significant IT investments and buy time to make critical go-forward infrastructure decisions.

“We’re excited to see the expansion of Rimini Street support services to include VMware products. Customers sorely need an alternative to the predatory tactics by VMware to move customers from on-premises to the cloud. Rimini Street is a proven provider of third-party enterprise software support services. With extensive experience in delivering mission-critical services for nearly two decades.” 

The new services are good news for Rimini Street and enterprises using VMware. However, it could ensure that Broadcom sees much less than the $61 million it paid for VMWare. Broadcom has annoyed both customers and partners, and Rimini Street could quickly capture the lucrative enterprise customers that Broadcom expected to retain.

There are other benefits for Rimini Street from this. Existing customers will likely shift VMWare support to it. In addition, others, after moving VMWare support to them may also consider other third-party maintenance services. If Rimini Street does a good job of supporting VMWare applications, it may persuade more organisations to shift their SAP, Oracle and other support contracts to the global firm.


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